By Nivi Shrivastava

If the thrill of pumping adrenaline excites you or chilling in the lap of nature is your perfect getaway, Manali should be on your bucket list this summer. If you are planning a trip to this spectacular destination located in the Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh, you can try out some of the activities that I tried out in the this resort town during my recent visit.

For a smart itinerary, stick to the city attractions on day one and two and cover the popular spots like the Mall road, Van Vihar, Old Manali, Hidimba Devi Temple, Gadhan Thekchoking Gompa, Manalsu Nala, Naggar Castle, and Nicholas Roerich Art Gallery. The Rohtang Pass is one of the most popular summer destinations among others and one may explore historical monuments, museums, temples and parks in and around Manali, and you will also get to see the newly built Atal Tunnel while you’ll head up hill. A good idea would be to hire a driver for the day and spend some time on your own without running after every destination.

Where to stay:

While there are multiple hostels and hotels in this tourist town, one of my most memorable experience in the snow season this year was at the Renest River Country Resort Manali. Unlike the cramped budget hotels in the city, this beautiful hotel is located off the busy Mall Road, overlooks the river Beas and is surrounded by pine and cedar, offering a peaceful retreat into the Himalayan valleys. It’s on National Highway 21 in Rangri, making it considerably easier for first-time tourists to locate it. If you are taking a bus from Delhi to Manali, just ask them to drop you before the bust stand and you won’t even have to think much! It’s also close to some of Manali’s most popular tourist attractions and other places of interest.

Vishal Lonkar, General Manager, Brand Development at Renest Hotels & Resorts, tells us more about the brand ethos and services, “The Renest group has built a strong foundation in its profession during its existence. The conviction that guest’s pleasure is just as vital as our products and services have helped the resort build a large customer base that is still growing by the day. Management put a lot of emphasis on looking for professionals who are not only passionate about their jobs but also put forth a lot of effort to fulfill the company’s overall vision and objectives that makes us unique. This is immediately apparent when a person enters the property, whether it’s through the food they eat or the services they receive at every touch point.”

For adventure lovers:

During this season summer season, you can try out the adventure activities like paragliding, river rafting, Riverside Camping, Mountain Biking, rock climbing, trekking, Zorbing and much more (depending on your stamina and budget). For trek lovers, the resort town is a paradise as every slope takes you to some unseen, unknown spot that has unforgettable views of sunrise and sunsets. Some popular treks that you can book with local mountaineers are Jogini Waterfalls Trek, Beas Kund Trek, Bhrigu Lake Trek, Hampta Pass Trek, Pin Parvati Trek and Chanderkhani Trek. Closer to Manali is the famous Solang Valley, which is known for summer and winter sporting activities. A lot of tourists come here to try parachuting, paragliding, zorbing and horse riding. During winters, the valley is covered in thick snow and people come here to enjoy skiing and ice skating amidst the panoramic white slopes. One can also visit the Sissu village in the Lahaul valley, which is 40 km ahead of Manali, to camp and enjoy the frozen lake views in winters.  

How to reach:   

Manali’s magic appeals to all age groups and it is perfect to visit there at any time of the year. One can drive to the destination or opt for a Volvo and semi-sleeper buses from Delhi, Shimla and Chandigarh that go to Manali every day from main bus stands. The closest airport is Bhuntar and the closest railway station is Joginder Nagar.

(Hospitality courtesy:  Renest Hotels & Resorts)

(The writer is a Delhi-based blogger, and you can reach her at [email protected])

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